Former SDSU Aztecs’ punter Matt Araiza to play organized football with Tijuana Galgos in Mexican League

Credit: Twitter @r_y_z_2

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Matt Araiza punts at SDSU Pro Day. Credit: Don De Mars/EVT

This Tuesday, Feb.14, 2023, former SDSU Aztecs’ punter Matt Araiza had his first official day with the Tijuana Galgos of the LFA (Liga de Futbol Americano Profesional).

Araiza was previously drafted as the 180th pick in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills but was released by the team after allegations of gang rape came to light.

The San Diego native was not charged with a crime along with former San Diego State teammates Zavier Leonard and Pa’a Ewaliko. After not being charged, Araiza expressed his desire to continue his NFL career, but he will now look for another opportunity less than 30 miles from San Diego State University. It is important to note that a civil suit is moving forward against the former San Diego State football players.

The 22-year-old was a punting prodigy at San Diego State as he broke the season record for average punt yardage as a junior in 2020.

Araiza also won the Ray Guy Award in 2021, given annually to college football’s most outstanding punter. The Mexican-American punter was also named a unanimous All-American in his 2021 season, along with being MWC’s special teams player of the year.

Araiza’s talent was never in question for making the NFL, but his off-the-field controversies kept him out of the league after being drafted.

The Tijuana Galgos are a new franchise, just like the LFA itself, which has only been operating since 2016. The league started to get more traction last season with the expansion that added three teams, including Galgos. Three more teams will be added this season, as the LFA will now be home to 11 teams across Mexico.

Tijuana Galgos

Tijuana was one of the worst teams in the LFA last season, finishing 0-6, but is looking to bounce back with some notable signings like Matt Araiza, Trevone Boykin, and former Dallas Cowboy Terrance Williams. Araiza will go back to his roots as his dad Rico is from Mexicali, Baja, California, and also to the roots of his professional football career.

Araiza was once a two-sport athlete as he played soccer in Rancho Bernardo High School and across various leagues in San Diego. The former San Diego State punter will now be playing his home games with Galgos in the Estadio Caliente, which is known for being the home of Liga MX’s Tijuana Xolos.

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The 27 thousand-seat stadium is the biggest stadium in the LFA and is perhaps the most notable, also housing the largest big screen in Latin America. The Estadio Caliente also has artificial turf, which 16 of the 32 teams in the NFL have.

Araiza will not face nearly the same level of competition that he was expected to face in the NFL, but he will be faced with professional competition with some former NFL players along with a great atmosphere on gameday at the Estadio Caliente.

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